In the spring of 1848, as revolution and unrest raged across Europe, Kennington was at the centre of the fight for social justice in Britain. Tens of thousands of people gathered on Kennington Common on the 10th of April, demanding the right to vote.
The Chartist movement was a popular campaign that saw working people come together behind the Charter’s six demands for democratic reform, at a time when only those with land and property were allowed to vote.
The story of the Chartists’ fight for justice includes dedicated women’s groups, and inspirational figures such as Anne Knight, who produced what is thought to be the earliest leaflet on women’s suffrage, and the radical William Cuffay, son of an emancipated slave.
Fast forward to 2018 – when Brexit, Trump, #Metoo and Black Lives Matter are in the news, amid fears of a breakdown in democratic values – and it’s time to ask – What is the legacy of #Kennington1848 today?